Saturday, October 23, 2010

Incessant, unceasing barking, definition of

This post was inspired by the unceasing, or is it incessant, barking of several dogs in my neighborhood, most small and yippy, one large and menacing, but all annoying.

Being a rather quiet guy, I'm a bit puzzled by the commotion. Because (notice I did not use the word "since") I'm becoming known for my clear definition of terms, especially the difference between obstinate and obdurate, it occurred to me that I didn't quite know the difference between unceasing and incessant, or even if there was a difference.

So here's the deal: unceasing and incessant both basically mean "not coming to an end," which certainly is true of the noise around here (excepting of course, the immediate environs of moi, Tucker). However, incessant has a negative connotation, and is used when the unceasing barking has become unpleasant (in other words, immediately). The definition given for incessant is "continuing without pause or interruption."

The odd thing is, that after musing over these definitions this morning, this afternoon I went out for my walk, properly leashed, of course. One of the yippy dogs, improperly off leash, bounded out of her yard and attempted to attack me, several times, dashing forward, dashing back, baring her teeth and rolling her eyes in a most unseemly manner. Finally, provoked, I let loose with my sound of alarum usually reserved for the Siberian Husky (although it was the moderate version), but the thing kept approaching, gnashing its teeth and barking. Unceasingly. Incessantly. Annoyingly.

After it was all over, I went through the paces of my walk, but my heart wasn't in it, and when I got home, I went to sleep. Immediately.